March Review - SuddickTheKing
As we head for the 'business end' of the season every Blackpool fan knew that the run - in was going to be really tough and we needed plenty of points on the board early doors. Norwich away was not the easiest of fixtures to start with, especially considering their form under new manager Glenn Roeder. Typical of the 'Pool though, when the going gets tough, we pull off a great result! A Steven McPhee brace proved enough to get 3 vital points despite the referee`s best efforts to even things up.
Two home games in the space of five days against struggling sides (Southampton and Barnsley) provided a glorious opportunity to put some distance between ourselves and the trapdoor. Alas, two less than impressive displays led to four points going begging and with those big games on the horizon suddenly thoughts of wonderful mid table obscurity were banished.
QPR away had more significance with the new regime in charge at Loftus Road. Money no object, they had signed virtually a new team in the January window. At half time the impact of these players was evident as they went in 3-0 up. 'Pool showed that money wasn't everything in the second half with a stirring comeback, losing 3-2 in the end.
Not the best preparation then for the long awaited return of 'the Nobbers' to Bloomfield. PNE were bringing some red hot form into the game and for days before the game workplaces which hadn't seen or heard a PNE fan for most of the season were suddenly full of them! In the end the game was a damp squib with 'Pool having the better of things overall after dominating the first half. A 0-0 draw was an accurate reflection of the match with PNE not looking capable of scoring and us missing chances.
Unfortunately, there were off the pitch 'happenings' which overshadowed the football. For my part I feel that certain media people have gone over the top and created something out of what is basically banter. At a heated local derby stuff like that is 'sticks and stones' and certainly isn't anywhere near as bad as the stuff that went on in the '70's. I won't need counselling if PNE fans think I'm going home to my boyfriend and I don't suppose they will lose sleep over me preferring a Tower to a Mosque! There are extremes in all walks of life and we should take action where racism or homophobia really affects people, not ban 9 lads for what was basically schoolyard behaviour. Presumably those from the 'fattist' lobby will be demanding bans for those giving Neil Mellor stick. The irony for me is that most of those doing the chanting were young lads from a generation immersed in political correctness. Personally I find it more offensive when individuals use words beginning with 'F' and 'C' at the game, especially when there are young kids and women around. Maybe my attitude reflects my generation, I don't know; I just think we should try to put what happened into some sort of perspective. I know that this is a sensitive subject and these are just my views, I'm not trying to finger-wag at anyone.
Anyway, two easy games to finish the month - Stoke City and Crystal Palace, both away! Not many gave us a prayer but a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium was well merited and a 0-0 was the least we deserved from Selhurst Park.
So, where does that leave us? I don't think I`m on my own when I say that I feel proud and yet worried. The team has consistently punched above it's weight and only Charlton (away) have outclassed us….BUT we are only four points above the dreaded third bottom with a very tough run in. April promises to be quite something.